The Lessons Within The Journey (by Jen Duffy Ruzicka)

This morning I was listening to an interview with the Marquette basketball coach – Buzz Williams. I was impressed to hear him openly speak of his relationship with Christ and how his faith has influenced his coaching style. Mr Williams made one statement that grabbed my attention and deeply spoke to my soul. “Let’s not get so focused on the journey that we lose sight of the lessons along the way.”

This one simple statement captivated me. Its not like I have never heard it before, I have. Its not like I dont know I need to slow down and enjoy this journey I am on. Knowing it and doing it are entirely two different things. I am far too familiar with pushing the envelope on how much I can do, and putting unrealistic expectations on myself. Instead of being proud of what I have accomplished, I find myself filled with the “what ifs” of lifes journey.

Currently, I am a wife, mother, friend,teacher and student. I lead a womens Bible study, am trying to get emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally healthy, and somehow am still a straight A student. I am a writer, or at least, trying to be. Yet, I still find myself feeling as though I am not enough – I am not doing enough to be the woman that Christ has called me to be. But who has put these expectations on me? Christ himself? NO!

Even as I write this it sounds funny….This is who I am now and have always been. I have always been an over achiever – always puhing the envelope just a little further! Usually, it works out ok for me but I have experienced failure because of it too. I am a work in progress and, thankfully, I have a very patient Father.

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6.

I have felt in limbo these past few weeks and, of coure, I am forced to analyze why. The disenchantment has been a personal invitation for the Devil to come right in and begin planting seeds of self doubt. Again, the “what ifs” and “why’s” sneak in and begin to try and grow in all the beauty that has been planted.

“What if Im never meant to accomplish anything?”
“What if this is it?”
“Why would anyone really want to hear what I have to say?”
“Why would anyone want to read what I have to write?”

Can you see where this is all headed? The Devil sees an opportunity and comes right in. I know what he is doing – I mean, I have travelled down this path with my companion many times. Eventually, I will come to a stop sign and have a chance to continue on or jump out. Of course, this is a lesson I HAVE remembered. When I get to the stop sign, thats my que to get out of the car! If I dont….well, we all know what might just happen.

Psalm 5:2-3 reads, “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

I dont want to be so caught up in this journey that I lose sight of the lessons God has for me. I may not understand the hills and valleys or the twists and turns, but my faith must assuradly be with Him. I am ENOUGH for Him. He doesn’t ask for me to be perfect, just willing to be perfectly loved and molded. So today my hope, my assurance, my worth should be in Him who created me.

“And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” – Philippians 1:9-10.

Tonight I lift it up to Him – He is my fortress and the only one that can fill all the emptiness. He is the only one who can answer all of the “what ifs” and “whys”. He knows my heart, my willingness to be translucent in my struggles as a Christian woman, and yet, He still loves me. Tonight that is more than enough for me.

Love to all – JenThe Lessons Within The Journey

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